Occasional Labor, 1991
16mm film still
(link to video HERE)
on the impermanent disposition of art, life and textile*
Years ago I wrote an essay entitled Domestic Gestures in consideration of the ephemeral nature of domestic activities, identifying those processes as an integrated art form. It was the first expression of my inclination towards an interdisciplinary study of domestic culture and materiality in relation to impermanence.
Subsequently, I wrote two essays, each a reflection of specific aspects of these ideas. The first one entitled Threadlore (Surface Design Journal, Fall, 1994) considered mythological and cosmological allusions to textile processes such as spinning and weaving in relation to fundamental structures of matter. Textile: An Event in Time (Fiberarts, Sept / Oct, 1995), examined the works of several textile artists whose work underscores process as a discrete creative element.
During this period, I made a short 16mm film for an installation entitled Occasional Labor (link to video HERE), described in an essay of the same title. That installation along with those initial writings led to these expanded texts, presented here under the same canopy: Occasional Labor.
I am in pursuit of the connections between my experience of textile and subjects that penetrate the fugitive qualities of being. Subjects that have emerged along the way include, but are not limited to: traditional mythologies, multi-cultural philosophies, metaphysics, modern science, particularly recent development in physics, and time-based and mutable art forms including collage, installation, video and performance. In addition to the writing, each essay includes citations and images from a wide selection of sources.
The scope of these collected documents has seemed far-reaching, like a vast, immeasurable tapestry eveb as nt understanding of these subjects continues to evolve in relation to world events and personal states of affair. All the while, textile offers a fertile metaphor for the tangles of materiality, global economies, environmental degradation and the indeterminacies of everyday life. Following this introduction and Prelude, PDF documents for each individual composition* is linked here by title.
A Language of Simple Twists
The Irrational Qualities of Substance
My Liquid Self: The Performative Textile
Sad Cloth: The Material of Melancholy
Threadbare: Upon the Dematerialized Self
*Several of these compositions share titles with visual art works that also appear on this website.
Ideas in common with visual work are sometimes expressed in these writings, yet these documents
are not presented as descriptive statements relative to specific visual works.